Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Cheer

According to Time Magazine, Austin is ranked number nine in their Top Ten Places to Find the Most Holiday Cheer. I was happy to see Mystic, Connecticut on the list as well as NYC. I actually stopped by 37th Street last night to see the beautiful yet very Austin ecclectic lights. I will not be able to get to Zilker for the Trail of Lights this year though. There is always next year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a gamey Christmas

My life is fairly crazy right now, finishing up at work before the holidays and shopping for said holidays. But in all that craziness, I managed to feed my soundtrack habit. The game, Gears of War 2, just came out this year and on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Gamespot had a 2 for 1 sale so I picked up the original Gears of War. Man, is this game ever fun. Lots of shooter action, gore, and what is more genius than killing bugs, the bane of my existence. With the release of Gears of War 2 came the release of its score by one of my favorites, Steve Jablonsky. He came onto my scene with his score to Steamboy, a better than expected anime movie and score. He is recently known for his score to Transformers and is signed on for the sequel. I find it lovely when some of these composers delve into other mediums. Giacchino comes to mind scoring television, animated features, and games. Jablonsky's score to GOW2 is excellent but I also picked up the score to the original by Kevin Reipl and it also has some wonderful tracks, "Jacinto Prison" being one of them. I picked up a few other game scores, Too Human by Steve Henifin which is haunting and Mass Effect by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick. I hear Myst 3 in Wall's Mass Effect so it was worth it in my mind. It is going to be a good holiday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

is anyone listening?

Um, Santa Claus? Gamespot giftcards welcome.

the pixar phenomenon

Every time a new Pixar film is released, I say to myself that it will not be as impressive and charming than that of the previous film. I said it at Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles and with each, I was pleasantily mistaken. Note that I did not mention Cars because I did not like it very much. Well, I did not even go see Wall-E in the theatre. It takes a force of nature to make me go to the theatre these days. So I was happy when it showed up in my mailbox the week it was released on DVD. Again, I am so glad I was mistaken. What an utterly enchanting film. I love how the first 20 minutes not a word was spoken (except in song of course). I fell in love with him and this simple yet effective film. Thank goodness I keep being wrong.

where is it?

Did you ever lose something and ask yourself, why can't I find it?  I was being a couch potato on my day off, crocheting a blanket for my friend who is having a baby.  It is due soon and I am seriously behind.  I finished a section and went to get a drink.  When I sat back down, I could not find the crochet hook.  I pulled up the couch pillows, looked under it, even went back to the kitchen to see if I left it there.  I could not find it.  I figured it would turn up, my apartment is not that big and there are not a lot of places it could have been.  After two days, each of which I pulled up the couch pillows again, I still could not find it.  Then I got really nasty.  I have been meaning to clean the slip covers on my couch so I pulled all of them up. The hook finally turned up but I lost two days and now have couch in disarray.  What a waste.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a candle's fickle flame

This week's song on repeat is Cake's "Never There". The rhythm and lyrics of this song made me go out and purchase all their albums. They have been a favorite of mine for a while now. If you listen closely you can hear the beep beep of a phone being dialed during this song. So much fun.

a scarred prince

I love the Prince of Persia games.  I love the acrobatics of it all.  In its new revamped form, the Prince looks a little worn but all the more fun.

parade or bust

I have no idea why really but I love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Last year, I was actually at the parade as you can see from my Tom the Turkey picture. This year, I have a few friends running the 5 mile Turkey Trot here in Austin to benefit Caritas. Unfortunately this interferes with my parade schedule. I think I have it figured out where I can watch old Tom make his debut, head out to cheer my friends a few blocks away, then head back in to make sure I get a view of Santa Claus. It might just work out. Now if it only was not going to be a high of 81 degrees, my holiday would be perfect.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ma orchidée

Remember Elora? Well look at her now.

new xbox live experience

My xbox 360, and everyone else's of course, has gone through a significant upgrade in its operating system. The user interface has been revamped making themes more impressive, if I ever get one. The blades are gone but can be found in the easy xkey where you can easily get to your games, the main point of the console. The best thing about the revamp, streaming Netflix. With my upgraded Live Gold subscription (13 months for $39), I can watch anything Netflix streams with my unlimited account. I have begun 30 Rock season 2 and its streamed in beautiful HD. I guess it is safe to say, liking the new experience.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Legend of the Seeker

From the producers of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess", a new syndicated show premiered a few weeks ago.  "Legend of the Seeker" is a live action show based on the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind.  I have read at least the first book of this series and enjoyed it but did not have time to continue.  The premiere was actually pretty good, keeping you involved while giving plenty of story exposition and introducing the world.  I like that it is not campy like Hercules and Xena and though the acting is not stellar, I have enjoyed the episodes so far.  It is nice to know that TV is still willing to risk syndication to tell a good story.

Monday, November 03, 2008

finally, a snowy one

From Finland.  Is it not the most gorgeous thing?
From postcards

i love this show

My proclamation once again for this amazing show. A Shikamaru centric episode which shows that Naruto: Shippūden can do both action and dramatic episodes with beauty and grace.

living in the city

Here is a list of things that I like about living in the city:
  • halloween - I am not a big fan of this holiday but the city makes it worthwhile. The city shuts down Sixth St, the main drag. With Austin being a college town and having a stellar night life, the costumes come out in swarms. It was fun watching all of that on such a beautiful night. I am eager to experience Christmas in the city.
  • festivals - There is always a festival or event. This weekend was the Day of the Dead festival, hosted by Mexic-Arte. The decor was awesome. Then there was the Texas Book Festival where authors and publishers host book signings, sales, and entertainment. I picked up a copy of the The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise who's author and photographer were very excited and signed my copy. More on my fascination with the Hill Country later. Sunday was the Race for the Cure and the route goes right by my building.
  • walking - To the gym, to the grocery, to the library, and around Lady Bird Lake. I have been debating getting a bike but why when I can get most anywhere with my own two feet. With the nice weather these days, it is a shame to not spend as much time outdoors as possible.
  • the capitol - Seriously one of my favorite buildings of all time. I get to see it every day, walking to the gym. This weekend, I took time from the book fair to sit and read under one of its beautiful trees.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

just in time

Two days before I was going to chuck Time Warner, KXAN and my local NBC affiliate are back on the air.  Just in time for sweeps, though no new Chuck or Heroes this week, I now can watch in beautiful HD some of my favorites.  Too bad, I was looking forward to getting more preferred HD channels.  I guess I will wait and see if it is still worth it until the beginning of the year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

madison ave and her men

Last year, American Movie Classics (AMC) created a television show called "Mad Men".  From a third rate network, the show took the summer season by storm.  The second season ended this past Sunday. Almost every aspect of this show is impressive.  The production is at the top of the list, making perfect visualization of the early sixties culture.  The plot and premise center around an advertising agency on Madison Ave and highlight the social part of the business just as much if not more than the actual business itself.  And the characters.  You can almost feel each one slowly committing that opening song suicide with every drink, affair, and lie.  The show is a wonderful blend of amazing television.  That is why is so hard for me to say how much effort it takes for me to watch it.

Maybe it is the time period.  I did not grow up in the sixties and find it very difficult to even try to think they way they do.  In the show, Marilyn just died, the Cuban crisis is just warming, men are expected to look pretty and sleep around, and girls are meant to look pretty and say nothing.  The characters have a drink in their hands one out of every three scenes so it is amazing how they got anything done. That being said, the advertising part of the show really draws me.  Don, especially, makes it look all too easy but the rest  of the team's suave business savvy is outweighed by their closed minds.  The costumes are wonderful, gallant men wearing hats and most women sporting the Jackie look.  But it hurts to watch the women dressed in  stockings and heels all the time and showing their big hips.  And then there are the characters.  Not one of them connects with me.  It feels as if they are all living a lie and Don works on a slow spiral into nothing.  If I have one fault it is that I need a hero and there is not a character on the show which can be called a hero. 

So why the long commentary?  I just think it interesting that I continue to follow this show.  I know I do not like it but I also know that it is very good television.  I know that I will be depressed but I continue to get involved in its characters.  I believe that I have found its purpose, to experience a maddening time through the eyes of the men on Madison Ave.  And after the finale of the second season, I felt it a little more cohesive.  Finally some good decisions  were made rather than ones that helped Don get through the day.  The agency has taken center stage and Don has reconciled what he wants from his family. I can not believe that I wonder how things will change when all the lies come out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

bowl and cup

A friend at work is a thrower, that is she makes pottery. She is taking a class and I asked for a small bowl to eat my oatmeal at work. The amazing part of what she gave me is the shapes. They both also have some great colors, the deep royal blue. Thanks, Nicole.

my orchid

I do not have a very green thumb. And I typically stay away from caring for living things. However, when I lived in North Carolina someone gave me an orchid. And for some reason, or maybe because I left it alone, it flourished. For reasons I will not go into, I could not bring it to Texas but I told myself that I would get another one. I see them in the grocery stores but worry about investing.

Yesterday, I was at the Farmer's Market listening to the New Orleans Jazz Band of Austin and saw an orchid vendor. She told me that lack of water and non direct bright light is essential to keeping the orchid alive and well. She said that since I get direct morning sun, I could come home from work and put it outside. It would eat up all that light and I would only have to water it maybe once every two weeks. Well, the yellow green one drew me. It still needs a pot and a stand but for now Elora, as I have named it, has a new home.

Friday, October 17, 2008

postcrossing pictures

I have not received any extraordinary postcards recently but my favorite site just got better by adding photos in your respective profile.  No more flickr for me. Here is mine if you want to see what I send and receive.

drop those articles

For the better part of ten years, I have been working around people whose first language is not English.  It has always fascinated me to listen to them speak in their native language.  The weird thing is, that when I am around them, I tend to speak English like them.  I drop my articles and typically use the present tense when other tenses should be used.  One of these days, I will not speak correctly at all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

death of the seasons

Two of my most followed anime finished their respective seasons this past week, the eighth of Bleach and the third of Naruto: ShippūdenBleach was on a non-manga story line so it was fine with me. I was not very attached to the characters and the eventual death, even voluntary, was neither impressive nor touching.  Naruto, however, hit hard.  First, I knew what was going to happen because I read way too much.  Second, the person who killed this character was extremely scary.  Third, as in typical anime fashion, the build up was unbearable.  Seriously, I was balling by the end only to have my boss' boss call me about work.  Talk about bad timing.  Anyway, it goes to show how more powerful Naruto is, killing off a major character while Bleach has to resort to one that is not part of the normal story line.  I will work through the grief and move to the next episodes.  Still, I know of more major character's death in Naruto before the end of it all.  I am really not looking forward to that one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I want my NBC

Because of a dispute between the local NBC company, KXAN, and Time Warner in Austin, the channel has been removed from the lineup.  This means no "Life", "Heroes", "Pushing Daisies", or "Chuck".  The link shows you how to get these shows through   Everything except "Pushing Daisies" is available but usually the day after.  It is not the easiest to hook up my pc to the tv so watching on the big screen comes by downloading and watching on my xbox.  Eitherway, I do not get these shows in HD.

But after visiting my sister and finding that she gets way more HD channels than I do, I am seriously considering moving to another company.  In Austin, in my area only Time Warner provides cable.  I would have to move to Dish Network or Direct TV.  I could also use an antenna but my tv does not have an internal antenna so an external one would be pricey.  I also signed a stupid two year contract with Time Warner and the fees for canceling is going to be about on month's worth of service.  It is reasonable to say that I am disappointed and hate having to go through the effort of researching and hooking up a different system.  After the work is done, though, it looks like Direct TV is the winner.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

state quarters comes to an end

Speaking of states, 2008 is almost over and that means that the ten years of state quarter releases also comes to an end.  As of this post, I had about six plus the ten for 2008 left.  I have since received one of the earlier quarters and three of 2008 so I still need 12.  But the Alaska coin just went into circulation!  Hey, if you find these, cough them up would ya?  I hate to have an incomplete collection.
  • 2005 West Virginia (Philadelphia Mint)
  • 2006 South Dakota (Philadelphia Mint)
  • 2007 Washington (Philadelphia and Denver Mint)
  • 2007 Utah (Denver Mint)
  • 2008 Oklahomo (Philadelphia Mint)
  • 2008 New Mexico (Philadelphia Mint) 
  • 2008 Arizona (Philadelphia Mint)
  • 2008 Alaska (Philadelphia and Denver Mint)
  • 2008 Hawaii (Philadelphia and Denver Mint)
Now onto $1 presidential coins and $10 presidential wife coins.

Austin City Limits Festival

Austin has two major music festivals, though there are several smaller ones in and around the Austin area.  South by Southwest (SXSW) , which is also a film and music festival, is held in March and The Austin City Limits (ACL) is held in September.  The ACL is a full blown music festival spanning a motley of music types, over 130 bands on eight stages across Zilker Park  and drawing 65,000 people.  So why would I, resistant to loud music, the heat, and crowds of people attend this event?  Well one should always try new things and this, especially, should be experienced.  Also, I live very close to the event itself now and taking the shuttle was too easy to pass up.
Well, it was hot and very dusty as we have not had rain in a while.  And sometimes there were so many people that we could not move.  But since I had prepared both physically and mentally while taking advantage of the shady areas of the festival, I was not miserable and I did not even get burned.  Highlights of the festival for me were Swell Season, Raconteurs, Blues Traveler, and a new favorite Belleville Outfit.  The locale was the best part, a scenic view of the city and Barton Springs just across the street.  My trusty wrist band getting me in and out with no problem. Something signicant about this festival was the amount of effort into being green.  There were recycle bins everywhere there were garbage bins for those necessary bottles of water.  They encouraged others to collect recyclables and gave prizes for full bags.  All the vendors were encouraged to sell food which did not require utensils and utilized biodegradable or recyclable containers.  The food was fantastic, a choice from the popular local restaurants rather than just burgers or pizza, though of that it was good too since it was all local.  It was all very impressive.
I am not saying I am going to do this every year and having just returned from another trip, my exhaustion level was pretty much at a peak.  But having done it once and really enjoyed myself and the music is enough to appreciate it and seriously consider another offer of a three day ticket.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

partners in math

Okay, so I am pretty good in math.  I am not sure I am such a good teacher but I heard it takes practice.  And I do not have a lot of experience with children unless you count my intermittent time with my nieces, who are probably the greatest kids on earth.  Add all of that up and it does not make me a very good tutor.  However, I have always said I should give back what I could.  So this year, I signed up with Partners in Math, part of the larger Partners in Education program in Austin.  Every week, several of us from around the city go to our respective elementary, middle, and high schools and work with groups to help them with their math.  It is helpful that you have the same students every week, that you are in a group of about three kids, and the teacher is in the room with you and prepares the activity.  My first lesson was just an intro lesson where we got to know each other but I am not sure I did so well.  I hope, with practice, to be a better guide.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

another one off the list

I am not sure why but I love state capitol buildings.  I love buildings in general but old ones with arches and rotundas just take my breath away.  While visiting my sister, we took a trip to Richmond to visit the Virginia State Capitol.  Designed by Thomas Jefferson and the place where democracy was first established, history just filtered out of this beautiful French based structure.  With its yellow interior walls and landmark confederate roots, I wanted to just sit and bask in its southern glory.

I may not have a real list but I could probably start one.  
  • Columbia, SC
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Austin, TX
  • Nashville, TN
  • Charleston, WV
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Lexington, KY (only from the outside as it was closed when I went to visit)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the bats under congress avenue bridge

It sounds really gross but the Congress Avenue bridge, which spans the Colorado River (not The Colorado River but a smaller one), is host to the largest urban bat colony in the United States.  Just a few blocks from my apartment, I took a walk on one of the cooler nights in the past month to get a glimpse of these bats, which emerge at or around dusk to hunt for their insect food.  I tried to watch them earlier in August at the BatFest 2008 but it was on the First Street bridge and too far away to see them fly away as night approached.  While this impromptu visit did not garner the results I wanted (see this picture) I did see them silently fluttering under the bridge, thousands of them on the hunt.  Honestly, I was a bit scared and worried about the 'ew' factor but it is a matter of pride, this daily event of Austin.  I will go again so that I can witness that impressive swarm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike heads toward Austin

The coast has evacuated and though Austin will probably only catch the edge, Ike has caused some major upheaval in the past few days. Football games have been rearranged, Austinites are talking about tying down furniture, and we are praying that we do not get the winds but only the much, much needed rain. From a superior site,, here is a current satellite of Ike making its way toward Houston.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Moribito and Naruto Shippūden movie

I have a quite a bit of anime on my plate these days.  Between adult swim, netflix, netflix watch now, anime tv channel, scifi animonday and host of other places to watch, keeping up can be a bear.  Of all of these, one almost escaped my notice and I am glad that it did not.  Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit is currently running on adult swim's Saturday night lineup and the last episode that aired made me fall in love with it.  Several fight scenes ensued that were amazingly directed and the story was set up so well that I was completely enraptured.  The butt kicking female fighting hero has pledged to save the spirit possessing hidden strength finding prince in a beautifully animated series.  It is the first anime in a while, save for Naruto, which leaves me wanting more.

Speaking of Naruto, the new Naruto Shippūden movie trailer has been blasted at the beginning of the new episodes and boy does it look great.  Enjoy.

Online Videos by

Sunday, September 07, 2008

a capital living

I have lived in five state capitals so far in my life.  By lived, I mean either with my family, in school, or renting and earning wages.  Interestingly, I have only lived six different places and the one which is not a state capital is the one where I was born and lived only little more than a year.  Of the other five, all of them were a place where there was no professional football, basketball, or hockey team, though one of the places now has a hockey team and that same one developed a professional soccer team while I was inhabiting.  Of them, two of them are above 700,000 population and the other three were about 350,000 or less.  I have visited each of their capitol buildings, driven amongst their landscapes and as such, have gotten lost on their crowded highways.

Maybe it is because I have moved into its center or maybe because I have had the time and the ability to enjoy its atmosphere but Austin is by far the most enjoyable capital that I have lived. Its lazy culture and lively music make it a contradiction yet comfortable in the state where it resides. Its state capitol, one of my life's little pleasures, is the best in the country and epitomizes the unofficial state motto by being larger than our nation's capitol. I see the changes planned for this city and look forward to watching it persist and better itself. There is so much to do, you can not do it all and there is so much for your general enjoyment that it makes you wonder why anyone would criticize about anything, besides the weather of course.  While I do not participate in its politics or understand its drive for being the biggest or most independent, the city has captured me with its romantic Texan history and landscapes.  I will never be a Texan and have no desire to become one but I feel more settled than I have in some time and that is a comforting thought.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trudi Canavan

When you send someone a postcard on, you take a look at their profile to see what kinds of cards they like and their hobbies, etc.  In the last batch I sent, I found a kindred spirit, an anime lover and a Harry Potter fan.  She lives in Germany and her profile mentioned Trudi Canavan so I looked up the author and immediately put the first of her Magician's Guild trilogy on the library hold list, which is becoming increasingly long.  Well, I fell in love.  The story revolves a young girl who lives in the slums of Kyralia.  She inadvertantly magically throws a stone at the magicians as they try to purge the city of these dwellers each year.  As Sonea thrawts the Magician's Guild time after time, she, herself, is thrown into danger as her powers become more and more uncontrolable.  The story is simple but the characters very rich.  I could not put the book down and I am now immersed in the second. You have to love postcrossing.

my favorite so far

Originally uploaded by snshn98

Chiang Mai, Thailand. The umbrellas are the most adorable thing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the perfect trailer

I love trailers. This one has the perfect mix of music, action, and imagery. Have fun watching this sucker.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the white knight, the joker, and the Batman

I have been listening to the score for several weeks now but I just saw the movie this weekend.  The Dark Knight was classic superhero but definitely with a more twisted villain than anything that has come before.  While it is star studded, Heath Ledger made this film the ratings garner that it is.  I have said it before, I love the darkness and the broodiness of Batman.  Bale plays him a little too cheery for me sometimes though but the sacrifice and evidence about what he had become by the end of the film was definitely known.  Ledger, on the other hand, is a spot on Joker.  He never falters as the crazed lunatic and we know that he will not kill Batman because it is too much fun playing around with him.  I like how he wants us to know his many scar stories, he revels in them and the terror he can create.  Harvey Dent was also pretty perfect.  We see the bright white knight he was before the tragic dual personalities took over his soul and his mind.  It seems more likely that we will see him again rather than the Joker, given Ledger's death.

The score has more of the same themes we heard in the first movie, only with this lovely James Newton Howard twist.  It is definitely a Media Ventures now known as Remote Control Productions work with its electronic undertones  I have read that The Joker theme, especially, was recorded with orchestra and then resampled with electronics.  It makes for a difficult listen but a good theme for the tragic character. The third track "Harvey Two Face" takes on the Howard I know and love at the end with a big douse of the Dent theme in all its glory. It has grown on me with each listen.

Besides the really good movie with the really good music, I was blessed with the trailer for the next 007 movie and, in my opinion, it is one of the best trailers I have seen. Truly, this franchise has been lifted into an even better direction than with Brosnan if the trailer is a sight to behold.

my love for M*A*S*H

I was looking through the old posts, certain that I would have mentioned M*A*S*H.  But I never had and I absolutely love the show.  I still watch the reruns, over and over, especially any with Colonel Blake or Colonel Flagg, both having the epitome of comedic timing.  The show was amazing, the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, and friendship.  Before medical dramas were the norm, this show blasted you with 'meatball' surgery without all the fast talking jargon and it feels more real than anything on television these days.  Some of my favorite scenes are when Hawkeye or one of his cohorts plays the pun.  The actors are of the highest calibre, the writing unspeakably tight, and the characters unforgettable. With memories of my dad, this show prevails and will probably keep doing so, at least for me, for a very long time. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

chaos of unpacking

Yes it has been a month since the actual move but being the obsessive person that I am, I have to organize rather than just unpack.  Things have to be observed, recorded, and then put in their place.  My extensive soundtrack CD collection is going to be the last thing that gets done because I have to upgrade the storage.  Therefore the boxes get moved from unfinished section to finished section and back again.  The boxes just could not hold out today and the bottom of one finally opened.  The beautiful chaos had to be recorded.  Luckily, the CDs survived and there was nothing beyond slightly cracked cases.  One of them just happened to be a Danny Elfman signed copy of Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride but thankfully a case can be swapped very easily.  Note to self and all others planning for a move: tape box bottoms securely!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

the Brits can tell a story

Two British series ended their seasons this week on American television.  Both of them left open questions as to what was going to happen.  The first, Robin Hood, played the emo card and killed Marian, effectively killing what made this series.  Lucy Griffiths was an excellent Marian, beautiful yet spunky.  I enjoyed her performances with Jonas and she was always an integral part of the story.  In my opinion, it seems unlikely that this series can keep its audience without the main drive of Robin.  Doctor Who, on the other hand, took the lonely route, erasing Donna's memories of the Doctor and leaving him yet again traveling through time and space, alone.  That last scene, with him entering the Tardis from the rain, knowing full well that he had within him the power to destroy worlds yet missing the human element that grounds him was very special.  Apparently, this series does not return until 2010 under new direction.  I eagerly and worrily await to see how the Doctor copes with losing another leading lady.

happy endings end

Monday, July 28, 2008

around the world

Now I have received eight postcards from around the world. I have added them to flickr to share with and now you can enjoy. This is so great!

Friday, July 25, 2008

anyone got a frying pan?

I know that it is July in Texas but this is awful. And August, the hottest month of the year, is still a week away.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

simply beautiful

A little rougher, a little snarkier, what a gorgeous trailer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My mother, the cat lover

Have fun, mom!

Avatar returns and then ends

How excited am I that Avatar: The Last Airbender returns this week?  A week long run of new episodes every day with a two hour finale on Saturday.  Well, since this is it, the end of Avatar, my excitement has no bounds.  Though, I typically get too excited and my anticipation outweighs the actual product.  But because it is Avatar, I am hoping that is not the case this time.  Make sure you watch Nickelodeon this week!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Force Unleashed

The saga continues as Darth Vader takes on a secret apprentice.  This game looks amazing combining the things I love about Ninja Gaiden and Star Wars into one piece.  Take a look at the trailer to drool over the graphics and fun that can be had. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

God love Joss

I love Joss Whedon.  I have since Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie.  He is hilarious in person, hilarious in his writing (, yet poignant in both aspects as well.  The man is pure genius when it comes to the video medium.  And here he goes again.  Straight out of the writer's strike, Joss puts on an internet extravaganza starting July 15.  Make sure you watch, it is going to be so much fun.

In the midst of my packing craziness

Monday, June 30, 2008

Is that Jet Li?

I would not have thought that Jet would make an appearance in this film but there he is. I am a big fan of this series but am apprehensive at the missing Weiss and lack of Jonathan. They made the movies actually funny. Still, it is pretty nice looking.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clermont-Ferrand, France

How appropos that my first post card was from France. Caroline writes in French and describes the beautiful view of the volcanoes. I am so loving this postcrossing thing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love postcards

I love postcards and the stamps that come on them. My collection spans two photo albums. I mentioned this in my French class a few weeks ago and one of my classmates told me to sign up at This is a place where you send and receive postcards from all over the world. It maps them, tells you how long it takes to get to its destination, and even has some pictures of cards that are sent. Boy was this ever the best thing. The first thing I did was head to our local tourist shop and buy $10 worth of post cards and then to the post office to buy $0.94 stamps for international postage. Then I sent out five cards which is the limit. I just received notice that my first card was registered in Finland. I can not believe how happy it made me feel. Imagine my delight when I will receive my first card. You have to try this.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bleach: Memories of Nobody and other anime movies

Viz Media decided to release Bleach: Memories of Nobody, a movie based on the famous anime, for two days in the United States. I was lucky enough to live in a city where it was being shown. As part of the promotion, there was a neat little introduction with interviews of the Japanese and American staff and actors about the anime and the movie. It started with one of the animators just sitting down and drawing Ichigo... fantastic. The movie itself was funny and fun. Best of all it was on the big screen where Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya come to life.

I have also watched a few other movies of late. Origin: Spirits of the Past was great, almost Miyazki-like only with a weaker story. The characters were great, the animation beautiful, and the music stupendous. Unfortunately, you can not find the soundtrack in the US but I have been listening to the opening and ending songs on repeat for a few days now :) 5 Centimeters Per Second was also another beautiful movie. Filmed in three parts, the inner thoughts of two friends is voiced over some of the most graceful images I have ever seen. Definitely a must see.

huzah, only 97 on Thursday

It happens every year. I know the entire country, with the exception of the Northwest, is under a heat wave and it is only June. But down here we have been dealing with it since the beginning of May and when the 10 day forecast is 97°F or higher and three sequential days hitting 102°F, my head explodes. We will not get any release probably until October.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

what to read

While my Harry Potter in French continues, sometimes I need a break. But it is always a question of what to read. I enjoy children's literature, Harry Potter being a prime example but I also adored Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I've read His Dark Materials and was thinking of rereading Anne of Green Gables since it is the 100th anniversary. But I did some research to find out what experts, or so called experts, think is the next Harry Potter. Two series popped up. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

First, Twilight. A teen vampire love story. That about sums up the extent of it all. Now, it takes quite a bit for me to start something, a book, a movie, whatever and then stop. I have to know the end whether cheating and and reading the end or finishing the book in its entirety. But this, I just could not continue. It is really quite boring and not as intriguing as it sounds. A teenage girl, love at first sight, and the drone of her lovelorn desire to give up everything for the vampire that she loves. This is not the kind of story that I wanted. I wanted plot, details, and characters that draw me not push me away. It is too bad, I could use a good love story.

On the other hand, The Olympians series is intriguing. With other worldly qualities, Percy enters his adulthood as the son of a Greek God. Action and character growth, finally some fun with a sense of humor. It is still not Harry Potter but it engaged me enough for me to finish the first book and want to get the next. The series was actually referred to me by a friend at work as his son loves it enough to get the author's autograph (Rick Riordan is from nearby San Antonio, TX). I could not pass up a referral from a nine year old.

Both of these will hold me for a while but next up is the New Jedi Order series which proves to be a chore to read knowing what happens to some pretty important characters. Still, its Star Wars and hard for me to resist.

friendly games

How fun is the summer of even years? While the USA is befuddled with basketball rehashes and political questions, Europe goes to bat. There is nothing like a cup to bring football lovers to their feet. For twenty days, Europe and the world watches and waits to see who makes it to the end. The official site is quite good with widgets to add to iGoogle and a custom page for anyone who signs up for a free account. Well done, UEFA.

The US Men's team also gets some good practice against number one Argentina in an interntaional friendly. Good clean fun, all of it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

the title cards

As I was catching up on anime, Bleach and Naruto: Shippūden, I was again floored by how much I love the title cards to Bleach. These are the flashed images which tell you which episode it is. They can come at the beginning, middle, or sometimes even the end. They are all different and may or may not relate to the episode itself. The better part of the episodes have a card but some two part episodes do not. It is just a little touch of unexpected pleasure when they appear. Of course, being the obsessive that I am, I decided to find them all. Below is my tribute. I realized when collecting them all that beginning with episode 168, the show is now wide screen. My favorties are 39, 89, and 159.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hisaishi at the Budokan

Well, I will not make it to Tokyo for this concert in celebration of Miyazaki's July premier of "Ponyo on a Cliff". But the fliers are out and despite the absence of Chihiro, they are fantastic.


I do not feel I do enough as far as recycling goes. My apartment does not have a convenient way to dispose of paper, plastic, or glass and so I tend to be lazy and just throw it away. So since I am moving in a month or so, I decided to do something good with all that electronic equipment I had stashed away. Phones, cameras, mp3 players, cords, power adapters, VCRs, you name it and I had it and it was time to declutter. Fortunately, there are ways to appropriately recycle this ewaste.

One good place I found was Recycling for Charities. They take wireless phones, PDAs, ipods and digital cameras and either sell them back to companies, through online auctions, donate them to other charities, or dispose of them properly meaning their parts are safely smelted to be used for other consumer or industrial products. This 501(c)(3) uses the money for further environmental protection. None of the ewaste is thrown back into landfills reducing dangers from lead, beryllium, arsenic, mercury, antimony, and cadmium. I work with this stuff so I know what lies in every transistor and contained in circuit boards sold to the average consumer. I feel better already.

But there is more. Office Depot has a program called Tech Recycling Service. While most store recycle ink jet cartridges, cell phones, and computers, Office Depot goes a step further and does most any kind of electronic equipment you can name. All that stuff I listed above which fits in a $5 prepurchased box, which covers the 100% recycled cardboard and the shipping, is sent to be stripped for its raw materials (glass, copper, aluminum, etc). The boxes are then recycled and the loop starts over again. I did not research enough to find out what happens to the left over materials but was unhappy to read that 50-80% of supposedly recycled ewaste is sent to China. I am going to trust Office Depot to do the correct thing but I am keeping an eye on them.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How do you say airbender in French?

In learning a language it is necessary to have both written and audial exercises. To practice my French, I have been listening to Harry Potter and some podcasts on the web. As much as I love Harry, I have been absorbed in his story for ten years now. And the podcasts, while interesting, just do not keep me that interested.

Providentially, I was watching my "Avatar: The Last Airbender" DVD sets, listening to commentaries and savoring the art and story that never ceases to amaze me. While doing this, I found that the series is dubbed in French and the voices are fantastic, very close to the originals. Furthermore, they match the animation closely which is interesting given that the English is recorded prior to the animation. This means the French was probably ADR and the voice actors did a great job of it. Now I have something to keep me interested and get lots of French exposure. Incidentally, "Firefly" is also dubbed in French.

FYI, the last airbender translates to le dernier maître de l'air in French.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I have always been a Batman fan because he is all broody and dark. "The Batman", the animated series never pulled me as much because he is a bit lighter and happier. Without much advertisement, another Batman hits the market in July. This time it goes the way of AniMatrix and moves directly to DVD. Take a look at the fantastic anime influenced trailer. This is definitely already on my netflix list.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

gambit, thank goodness

For a minute I was disappointed but he showed up if only briefly. It is a fairly substantial trailer even though the art is slight and the movie tie in is evident.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

now it is July 14, baby

Can I just say... Aang bending fire.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"I'm ... weak" says Naruto

My my, Naruto Shippūden is a treasure to behold. Not only a creative phenomenon but a classy one at that. The first episode is so amazing, Naruto and team frantically searching for Sasuke only to find he is way more powerful and just as resigned to his future as ever. Then we learn that is a flash forward. It takes 50 episodes to reach that moment, 50 fantastic episodes full of action, treason and more Naruto determination. He has come such a long way and in episode 51 when he finally finds Sasuke, he is treated like dirt by the one person he most wants to change. Sasuke is impressive and cold, bent on killing his brother and not caring one iota that Naruto and Sakura have spent the past three years looking for him. It was incredibly heart breaking. In the end, Sasuke left and Naruto collapses, an overwhelming grief stricken expression on his face, crying, claiming that he failed yet again to bring Sasuke back and that he is weak. A tear jerker of an episode and represents the calibre of anime that this show has become. I laugh at the dramatic moments, those slow moving camera movements that takes 10 minutes just to pan up to the face of the character you have been waiting to see, the cuts back and forth of the faces and his impact but in fact, I relish every second. My heart stutters with anticipation because it gets better and better.

getting caught up

Thanks to Netflix immediate watch and SciFi's Animonday, I have finally finished the anime I have been watching for a while

A sub par story about a priest like man who destroys spirits and monsters. The climatic ending was not even enough to rank this average. Seriously, it was just on for noise.

A bit confusing near the end but a touching story of friendship and defying destiny. Some nice digital graphics to go along with it. I would recommend it for some good science fiction and character moments.

I love Netflix's Watch Now feature. I have had this on my list to watch for a while but have debated putting it in my queue because it is a lot of discs. The Watch Now feature allows me to watch it anytime and not six or seven episodes at a time. The premise of Gun Sword is mecha based and though I am not a mecha fan, the protagonist is a whole bunch of fun. From the creators of Cowboy Bebop, it did not have that epic feel but came pretty close. Van of the Dawn can control a big armor which stays in orbit around the planet until he calls for it which is often given that everyone seems to have their own armor. Van's sole purpose in life is to kill "The Claw", the man who murdered his fiance. Along for the ride is Wendy, an innocent yet determined girl bent on finding her brother and some others Van begrudgingly picks up along the way. It is mostly light with some okay fighting scenes. Again, a good recommendation for a well rounded series.

Next up: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo and Mushishi some of the top rated anime available on Netflix's Watch Now.

Lex Luther finally comes to "Smallville"

I have to admit, I am a closet "Smallville" fan. Sometimes the plots get way too dramatic or silly but it is fun to watch a young Clark contend with his powers and use them for the greater good. The writers and creators of the show have really taken liberties with the story line but have still managed to bring in great characters like the Flash, Green Arrow, Lois, Jimmy, Perry White, Martian the Manhunter, and Supergirl. The relationship between Clark and Lex has been different from the start. They became friends, they have loved the same girl, they have become enemies, and they have lost their fathers. This most recent development was unexpected and has made the past few crazy years a thing of the past. The man known as Lex Luther has finally come to "Smallville" and his new sick and evil ways are a blessed anticipation for a show in its sixth season with renewal for a seventh. Let us hope that the whiny Lana is permantly out of the picture and Lois steps up to bat. It is going to be a fun ride.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

say it isn't so

No Avatar until June 2008 in the USA. That's right, folks. At the NY Comic Con, the final trailer for the third and last season of Avatar: The Last Airbender informed that it will not air in the US until June 2008 even though Volume 3 of Book 3 DVD set will be released prior.

On a similar note, the live action movie release, directed by M. Night Shyamalan now titled The Last Airbender so as not to conflict with James Cameron's future release of Avatar, is set for July 2, 2010.

Friday, April 11, 2008

image album

For those of you who do not know, an image album is a prereleased album for a Japanese animated film which comprises musical sentiments the composer produces based on initial sketches of the film. In most cases, the music morphs into the official album but sometimes not. The image album for Howl's Moving Castle, in my opinion, is better than the official album but it is the opposite for Spirited Away. The release of Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea is sometime this summer but the image album, but the incomparable Joe Hisaishi has already been compiled. Oh to get my hands on that abulm. There is a lengthy review over at though. It is too bad we have to wait so long in the states.

Monday, April 07, 2008

soccer frenzy

How great is it to have soccer back in full swing.? With Beckham scoring his first MLS goal and the returning champs, the Houston Dynamo having an exciting opening home game against FC Dallas. I decided to drive to Houston this weekend to partake of the game, enjoying the residents stopped for bluebonnet pictures with their kinds on the way. It was a cloudless day and I had forgotten my sun screen. How lucky was I that they were giving away orange hats to the first 10,000 fans.? It still did not stop my arms from burning though. Though Onstad was hurt in the first ten minutes and the MLS rookie keeper let two slip by, the Dynamo came through in the end to tie 3 - 3. It was tremendously exciting and reminded me why I love the game in the first place. It is great that ESPN2 is showing double headers on Thursday, HDnet is showing games on Saturday, and Fox Soccer Channel is rounding it out even showing the CONCACAF cup. If you are not watching, dig in because it is the best game around these days.

the music of avatar

Yes, more Air Bender music news. A fantastic interview with Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn over at A must read for Avatar fans.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

do you mux?

My little brother showed me this very simple yet very cool site where you can make your own mix tape. You upload up to 12 songs, each having to be 10 MB or less. Then you have your own playlist from anywhere and the interface is so effective. While my brother's is funky and probably has taste, mine is soundtrack based. One of the best parts is to discover what others are listening to and maybe find a new favorite. Loads of fun and just so simple.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I am a huge Joe Hisaishi film score fan. I love his work on Miyasaki and Kitano films. My Mononoke Hime album is definitely in my top five favorite film scores. So imagine my disappointment some months ago to find that most the albums in my collection were bootlegs. You can not imagine the lengths some people go to make it look like the CD you are buying is legitimate. If not for the missing serial number on the back of the disc and several sites devoted to the subject, I would never have known. Thankfully, there are reputable sellers out there and after some contemplation, I decided to replace them with the real deals. Using a Japanese site which exports to the states, I now have honor in my beloved collection.


By far, my favorite season is winter. I love the cold and the snow. And there is no comparison to fall in the northeast with its colorful leaves. I always enjoyed spring, too, in North Carolina with the wildflowers that bloomed among the highways. Well, there is no winter in Texas and fall is just a immeasurable time between summer and the cooler climates. Spring, though, is definitely growing on me. The weather is still slightly cool and the humidity not quite reaching summer highs. The winds pick up and I can open my windows to catch the breeze though I think I am finally developing those 'Texas allergies'. Add to that the bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas. Their seeds were spread along the highways of Texas by Ladybird Johnson in the mid 1960's and have since returned every spring. They start as little bits of violet in the grass and then become a blanket of blue. Here is one picture along the drive I make to work everyday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Inheritance ... cycle?

I enjoyed Eragon. Paolini's world was full and fun with lots of action and meaningful characters. Eldest was not as good. The story slowed and had too much drama. Only in the end did I feel any kinship with the first novel. Now Paolini decides to break his trilogy into four books because he felt some morality portion needed more exposition. This does not bode well for my taste. Brisingr is set for a 20 September 2008 release in the states. If you go onto the amazon site you can find a statement by the author defending his decision. I will read Brisingr and hope I am pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

once, the movie

Of late, my Netflix choices have been bitter disappointments. So I moved a few of the higher rated ones to the top and was pleasantly surprised by this amazingly beautiful and simple film. A musical, technically and in the truest sense, it revolves around an Irish street musician who meets, writes, plays, and records with a Czech immigrant street urchin. The songs were written by the actors who had collaborated briefly before the film. The scenes are long and shot without cuts and the one song where she (the characters are unnamed) just walks home singing her lyrics to his music was beyond perfect. There is nothing more brilliant that being surprised by a movie. because it happens so little these days. I have since bought both the DVD and the soundtrack. Make sure it is added to your list.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

avatar's end title music

Whenever I catch "Avatar: The Last Airbender" on television, I watch all the way until the end. Nickelodeon is good at playing the credits without voice overlay and you can hear the end title music in all its glory. I got tired of waiting for them to show the latest episodes so after downloading I was ecstatic to hear that very music in the newest Avatar episode. Aang learns about firebending and that theme plays a major role in the episode. This show just gets better and better. Hurry up already with the new episodes!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

en français

I am starting the fifth Harry Potter book in French this week. What a joy to read these in a different language, especially one that takes great care and pride in translation. I am reading it with my professor who is a long time fan of the books and a new reader. It is like reading them for the first time all over again. First, because the names are structured from the meaning of the English original and I have to learn so much vocabulary just to get through a page. Second, because the new reader does not know nor want to know anything. It is so difficult for me to keep my mouth shut but so fun to think of all the clues we pick up on as we read. It is amazing that these books still give me so much pleasure.

The final book was just released in French and I have yet to buy it because of the expense. I can only imagine waiting that long to read it in your own language.

more anime

I wanted a few more words about some anime I caught recently. By the way, I updated my anime list link to my public link on anime news network. It is easier to keep up to date.

Naruto (post Sasuke's traitorous exit but prior to Shippūden)
After episode 135 (wow that's a lot of episodes), the Naruto anime moves into filler episodes which are created separately from the manga. They still follow the search for Sasuke but team up different members of the Leaf Village in that search. They are less than steller, animation and plot wise relying on silly jokes and leaving little action that is not new or different. I watch them because I do not get enough from my limited Shippūden exposure. I do enjoy seeing characters, though, that you would normally not see.

I took advantage of netflix's 'instant watching' to take an anime off my want to see list. Air was beautiful and extremely funny. The story of a boy and a girl, one searching for an angel, the other slowly fading into that girl. A terribly melancholy story but between the drama is exciting writing, flowing music, and again beautiful animation. It is something that I would watch again because it was short and concise. I have the movie version on my list and I hope it lives up.

I just started this anime but do not look forward to watching it. A Romeo and Juliet story filled with death. Still the ninja and sword fighting pull me like no other. It deserves a chance.

Chevalier D'Eon
This is on Anime Network on my Time Warner Cutting Edge on demand channel. Another really beautiful anime set in the period of the French Revolution. It is loosely based on the real D'Eon de Beaumont with a fantasy flair. The action leaves little to be desired and I am actually not a fan of any of the characters or the plot. But I watch it still to find out how it ends.

I love a good dimension travel story. This one is a fabulous run on SciFi channel's Animonday. It is fabulous because they are not afraid to kill characters and still retain dignified grief. I love the main guy, very powerful and the guardian of Haruka, the only one able to see the other dimensions. I am about halfway through and only get annoyed at the fact that the children can wonder around so freely. I enjoy everything else about it and will continue to watch enamored.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oh, Ichigo

"Bleach" is back and my favorite episode aired on adult swim last Saturday. Ichigo appears in all his glory to save Rukia only to have the one of the best face offs in any anime with the ever stoic Byakuya Kuchiki. Oh, and they play the song. Ichigo is so bad ass in these next few episodes having attained bankai , his unforeseen cape bilowing and weilding his zanpakutō over head like a toy. I am eager to watch them again with English dub to revel in the beautiful animation and fantastic twists.

While "Bleach" was off screen, I caught two other animes on adult swim. "Blood+ "has almost finished its run. I was intrigued by the buffy-like premise, a girl using her blood sword to kill these monsters. But the action is few and far between replaced by drawn out family drama. I do enjoy the characters, when they are not whining, and the various groups surrounding the monsters' creation. The best part of this anime is the music, composed by Mark Mancina released on two albums. The second anime was "Death Note." This horror and psychological anime has excellent animation. I am only half way through but not enjoying a teenage boy using a notebook to kill people just because he can. Still, I can not stop without knowing the end so I will continue to watch.

Friday, March 14, 2008

here comes the sun

Well it happened. Summer has hit Texas. Today reached 95 degrees and I managed to resist turning on the AC. I am making note of the date so come October I can tell you how long summer really was.

Friday, February 29, 2008

12 Angry Men

I came home, exhausted from sickness and playing catch up all week to find a classic on Turner Classic Movies. 12 Angry Men was on my must see movie list and now that I have finally watched it I find it difficult to explain my amazed impression. A clean, simple, black and white film centering on 12 men in a room debating the innocence or guilt of one boy. The performances were natural, each man getting up and moving around, the nervous energy waifing off the screen. Fonda used his steely eyed grace to try and convince the men but only convinced me that there was no one better chosen for the role. The weather was its own character moving from sweaty tension to a release of rain. They say they don't make them like they used to and this is the one that fits that rule. A character piece, and simple plot, and yet a winner in every respect. Thank goodness I can scratch it off my list but it is a proud moment that I have.

cloning in 3D

Speaking of Star Wars, the 3D CGI animated series "Clone Wars" is scheduled to premiere at the end of 2008 after a feature film lead in on August 15. The trailer peaks my interest with its action sequences and gritty characters. This is not the sleek and shiny animated shorts that kept me entertained between sagas but has more weight, more depth. Not much is known about the film release but the series has a pretty good trailer.

The Adventures of Lego Indy

Whoever said Legos are for children never played Lego Star Wars. The game, while just plain fun, is also clever and durable as there are tons of secrets to unlock and achieve. The tongue in cheek details to every character makes me laugh out loud every time. So when I read more Lego games were coming, my expectation and anticipation went sky high. Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones are in the making and looking at the video, it looks to be a blast.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a strike of luck

I watch too much TV. I know it. So when the Writer's Guild of America went on strike, I actually cheered. In a month where I am usually glued to my beautiful set and dependent on that lovely DVR for extreme sweep action, I actually finished a book and did my taxes early. Even with the strike, though, my appetite for television has become downright particular. I do not do the reality thing nor do I put much into sitcoms. My taste for the legal drama is dry and the teen drama, acidic. I tend to veer toward high production dramas with either witty writing or appealing relationships. And, of course, scifi and anime which consume more than most. Now that the strike is over and Spring TV starts to unveil, my DVR will fill again. No worries, though. There is nothing better than stepping into someone else's shoes for a long while.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

still alive

My new favorite song on repeat these days is "Still Alive" by Jonathon Coulton. It is the title song, or portal song as they call it, to Half-Life 2, the popular console and PC game. It is a tongue in cheek blast at the research facility that turns normal people into crazed zombies. The lyrics make the song.

Friday, February 01, 2008

la bruyère

In the two years or so since I have been taking French at the Alliançe Française d'Austin, my name has been the cause for discussion several times. Heather is not a French name nor does it have an equivalent. However, la bruyère, which is the French word for the flower, is very common in French culture. Last evening, my French teacher and friend, gave me a lovely potted Heather because we discuss it so much. Heathers are found throughout Western Europe and in parts of northeastern North America and Siberia but are native to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Russia, and northern North America. Their colors are usually pink or mauve in nature but can range from white through pink and purple and even into shades of red. They typically bloom in late summer but blooms spread from July to November. Though their flowers may turn brown in winter, they are an evergreen branching shrub. They need acidic soil and are a traditional remedy used in Swedish herbal medicine. The word, Heather, is of Scottish origin, presumably derived from the Scots word Haeddre. But what is in a name, anyway?

Updated with a picture for my brother

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Neighbor

Sure it is in Japanese but who does not love Totoro. I love the fact that someone loved him enough to erect his statue.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Persepolis (2007)

I do not know Marhane Satrapi, the Iranian born, French educated graphic novelist and children's author. Her work looks amazing though and this film has already won several film awards including being nominated for the Golden Palm at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It opened Christmas day in the US with limited screenings. So far, I have not heard whether it will expand but it is on my Netflix list already. Make sure you at least watch the trailer.

imdb link

Friday, January 04, 2008

get lost

The TV show, "Lost", is a piece of work, both artistically and literally. The amount of detail and information in the show is not lost (ha!) on the audience either. The current publicity stunt uses something called a viral technique. Advertisements are placed on buses, billboards, and even commercials which look real but, in fact, represent fake products and services. For example, Oceanic, the airline in which the survivors of flight 815 crashed onto the island, has several commercials and billboards over the US. In fact, they have a website which has been apparently hacked by another fabricated character, Sam. You should visit and then follow the hackers site to continue the game. It leads to some interesting information about season four, which premieres the first of its only eight episodes January 31, 2008. I enjoy the connections and things that people figure out as well as the beautiful images and music that make this show so special. Have fun digging.

quarterly search

I have a few sentimental possessions. I listed a few of them in my horcrux list. Another which fast moves up the list is my state quarters collection. 2008 is the last year for the state quarter releases which started ten years ago. I have been collecting both mints since then. Yesterday I received a quarter (thank you Chipotle) which reduced my number of missing quarters to six not counting the ten for 2008. Collecting them has been a blast because my mother and I would trade every time we traveled to see one another. Also, friends I did not know collected them would vie for the quarters when we paid cash at dinner or the movies. I have a list of missing quarters in my wallet in case one pops up in the grocery. I am currently missing:
  • 2005 West Virginia (Philidelphia Mint)
  • 2006 South Dakota (Philadelphia Mint)
  • 2007 Washington (Philadelphia and Denver Mint)
  • 2007 Utah (Philadelphia and Denver Mint)
If any one has one of these and can spare the $0.66 (a quarter plus the $0.41 stamp), I would be most appreciative to complete my collection.